Something Good

Hey!  I have something to write about now, something happy.  And something happy is always good.

How fitting that, being national Teacher Appreciation Week, I got this email from a former student on Monday:

Hey! I already told everyone well most people i saw you this Saturday, it kinda brought us back to middle school. We talked about how much fun we had with you a lot of memories in a short year. Everyone says Hi, Jordan, Abraham, Cass, Olivia, Abby, Gage, everyone says hi, even Ms. Slade remember her? told her too. All of us miss you! I hope we cross paths again.

Since becoming a teacher, I've taught at three different schools.  And this last weekend, I ran into one of my students from school #2, my first official teaching job.

But "ran into" is so not the right phrase-- I was on my way out of a local theme park where I had been working at a dance competition when I decided to take a shortcut to the entrance... that led me right toward this kid whose face I definitely knew.

So I was practically marching right up to him for several feet, though unintentionally until I realized that neither of us was breaking eye contact.  Then I said with a squinty smile, "Do I know you?"

Returning the smile: "Yes..."

"What's the first letter of your name?"  (The best question to ask when trying to memorize/remember names.)

"B..."

"BRANDON!"

And what a happy reunion!  My first year of teaching was a bit insane but also unique and special; it was the school's first year, so I taught all 120 of its students.  We all got to know each other well and really came together as a little community, especially by the end of the year.

It broke my heart to leave them.  Last year I went to visit the kids that had moved on to 8th grade (and cried like a baby in front of all of them), but I haven't had the chance to see the ones that moved on to high school.

Until Brandon, that is!  We had a solid little chat; I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.  He seemed like he's in a good place and is enjoying high school, and I was filled with immense gratitude that I was able to be a small part of his life journey.

And the sublime, peaceful feeling I had the whole drive home is the reason why so many teachers teach-- the feeling that comes when we know we are making the world a better place in some small way, when we know the students will indeed remember the good things we did and said, when we know that the youth of our communities are worth every investment, when we know that there is something immensely special about our work.

As a college student, I remember my recently graduated teacher friends telling me that teaching was the hardest thing I would ever do; I had done hard things, so I didn't take them that seriously...

Teaching is way freaking hard.  The hardest.  Especially in your early years.

But I can't think of a better thing to work my hardest for: the education and support of a living, learning, human being.

I'm so grateful for my students-- past and present-- and hope I continue to run into them for years to come.

When your students Snapchat your embarrassing teacher moments...

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha! That picture is amazing. Wish I could be your student.

    ReplyDelete